Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

December 11, 2013

If Dad would have frozen the back 40

CROSSVILLE — There is another ice skating show on television. Hardly a day or week passes without a skating contest or exhibition. I enjoy watching the skaters – my favorite is Scott Hamilton because he puts on a great crowd-pleasing performance.

In another time and place, I could have been a Scott Hamilton. Oh sure, the physical resemblance may not be that close; however, if I had the advantages and training, the situation might be different. Looking back, there were a number of factors that prevented me from making the big time skate scene.

First, is the skating rink. We did not have the huge indoor skate rinks of today. We had a small frozen pond at the farm, but if Dad would have flooded and frozen the back 40 acres, it would have forever changed my life. I could have practiced on a large rink instead of a frozen marsh pond. Not to mention the fact that, at age 12, we moved from the farm to Watertown, WI where there was a large outdoor skating area on the Rock River. Since figure skaters begin training and practice at age 5, I missed seven years on the road to skating stardom.

The ice on the professional rink is crystal clear with no ripples or bumps, with white poster boards surrounding the sides, thousands of spectators and hundreds of spotlights to showcase the performers. Our Riverside Park ice had snow piles, bumps, gouges, ripples, numerous logs, trees, branches, weeds and bushes. The professionals never clear snow off the ice, and there is not a single tree in their ice. Our onlookers were other skaters, loose dogs and an occasional stray cow. The lighting was a string of low wattage light bulbs. Instead of one or two solo or pairs performers on the ice at one time, we had scores of kids of all ages, sizes and skill levels.

When the professionals complete a number, they skate to the side where a door opens and they tiptoe off the ice to a warm cozy room. At Riverside, we walked on our skates up a slippery embankment to a small shed that was sometimes heated. The professionals wear a skate shoe with the skate blade bolted right to the shoe so that the blade is locked ffrmly in place. Unfortunately, with this set-up, the shoe or boot cannot be used for anything else. Our clamp-on blades enabled us to use the Oxfords or boots for other activities, such as walking to school, Sunday services and cleaning the barn. The clamp-ons were usually loose and never seemed to point straight. If I could have convinced Dad that the professional skate boot could be used for working around the farm, my career would have taken off. Eventually we got the standard hockey shoe skate.

The pros wear beautiful designer costumes; some rather scanty. I don't know how Scott would perform with the layers of clothing we had to wear. I'll bet he couldn't do triple loops in bib overalls and mucking boots. We wore long underwear, wool shirts and sweaters, overalls and an overall jacket, two pairs of socks, work shoes, an aviator cap with ear covers, ear muffs, mom's old long knitted scarf and leather covered mittens. I'm surprised we were able to move. The pros never seem to have colds, sniffles or coughs. We had them all, and when wearing those mittens, the buttonless coat sleeve was a convenient handkerchief.

We marvel at the jumps, spins and twirls of the professionals; the triple Lutz, the triple-toe loop and the double and triple axel. We did jumps and spins they never heard of. There was the forward splat fall, the flying seater slide, the reverse backside fall and the loose skate wobble spin. It took me a long time just to learn to stop on the ice, and two years to skate backwards. I remember Jumbo Lemke once tried skating backwards to impress the girls and struck a log on the ice. He did an open-arm inverted toe loop, then a layback spin, which was the talk of the firehouse for many years.

The professionals have coaches, teachers, choreographers and managers. Many have ballet teachers to develop their graceful dance steps. I know ballet training would have been a big help, but again, the ballet shoes couldn't be used for much of anything else.

So, if Dad would have flooded the back 40, if the ice was clear and smooth, if I had the neat skin-tight costumes, if the skate blades were actually fastened to the shoes, if I had the teachers and coaches and if I just had the athletic ability and prowess for leaps and jumps, who knows what might have happened. Maybe some guy named Scott Hamilton and some girl named Michelle Kwan might be sitting home watching me perform at ice shows. On the other hand, the per acre yield on our 40 acres of corn was the highest in the county.

1
Text Only
Glade Sun
  • Pats big day - Jensen photo.jpg FFG Resident Services presents painting to the Pat Summitt Foundation

    A dramatic portrait of Pat Summitt, painted by Chuck Jensen, was presented to the Pat Summitt Foundation by Fairfield Glade Resident Services at its Community Information Event on memory care.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFG Rotary district gov1.jpg Rotary District Governor visits Glade Rotary Club

    The Fairfield Glade Rotary Club welcomed Rotary District Governor Jerry Wear from Pigeon Forge.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 'Anything Goes' to benefit Resident Services

    In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now heaven knows, Anything Goes.

    July 23, 2014

  • Simms work on display beginning Aug. 3

    From Aug. 3 to Aug. 29, the Cumberland Art Society (CAS) will exhibit original creations by award-winning artist John Simms, who is internationally recognized as a Master Portrait Painter. The Creating Tomorrow’s Heirlooms exhibit will feature fine art in oil, acrylics, watercolors and charcoal. Please plan to meet Simms from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, at the CAS Backdoor Gallery, 186 S. Walnut St. in Cookeville.

    July 23, 2014

  • Read the latest edition of "The Bulletin"

    The Crossville Chronicle-Glade Sun also publishes a newsletter called "The Bulletin" in which you'll find a schedule of Glade activities and events, a restaurant and dining guide, golf information, and even tour schedules. Click here for the latest PDF edition of "The Bulletin."

    April 21, 2010 1 Link

  • Rafael 4.jpeg.jpg 'Wild Man' debuts at Palace Aug. 23

    "He's cool!" "He's famous!" "He's awesome!" "He's an icon!" "Ladies love him!" And, "He's Wild!"
    Crossville's own Wild Man Billy Ralph, Rafael R. Soriano, known for his signature song "The Dark Stranger," is making his debut appearance at the Palace Theatre Aug. 23.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFG Garden scholarships1.jpg FFG Garden Club presents five students with scholarships

    The Fairfield Glade Garden Club, in conjunction with members of the 1st National Bank of Tennessee, honored three returning students and two new students with scholarships as they continue their agricultural and horticultural education in their selected fields.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Normandie 2010 014.jpg Faith Bible Fellowship welcomes missionary musicians July 27

    Longtime French radio program producers and musicians, Daniel and Francoise Dossmann have lived through many transitions throughout their lives. Thirty years ago, they traveled from France to Ecuador to serve as missionaries with HCJB Global, (now Reach Beyond). After 17 years in Quito, Ecuador, they began a new phase of ministry in the West African country of Cote d’Ivoire. At the end of 2004, a civil war erupted and a mandatory evacuation ensued.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Abacus Column: Fairfield Glade golf courses — a product of talent, desire and commitment

    On a recent Friday morning, a friend and I were playing the back nine of Dorchester Golf course. At the tee box on the unique par three 13th Hole, we met a young gentleman named Rob Krumple. Rob is a course maintenance employee reporting to Dorchester Superintendent Mike Wilson. My friend and I often comment about the excellent condition of our courses and since we had opportunity to pass a compliment on to Rob, we did.

    July 23, 2014

  • rotary0039.jpg Rotary Club presents scholarships

     

    July 23, 2014 4 Photos

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014